Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris: Extract, 26 September 1782

To Robert Morris: Extract1

Extract:2 National Archives

Sepr. 26th. 1782

By letters from the Commissioners formerly, if you have them in your office it may appear to you that the Farmers general, soon after our arrival here, advancd us a million upon a contract for furnishing them with 5000 hhd. [hogshead] of tobacco which were to have been deliverd by Christmas 1778. Only three cargoes, on that account have been receivd by them. I have settled with them & given my acknowlegmt. of the debt due to them.3

1Made from a now-missing letter that probably was a response to Morris to BF, July 1 (XXXVII, 568–72). BF sent at least two copies of this letter, which evidently stated that he was enclosing a copy of his July 16 contract with Vergennes (XXXVII, 633–9). The first arrived by Dec. 27, when it was read to Congress. As Morris informed BF on Jan. 13 (below), the enclosure was missing. The second version to arrive did include the contract: Morris to BF, Jan. 19 (below); and see Morris Papers, VI, 440n.

2In the hand of Arthur Lee.

3The tobacco received by the Farmers General was worth only 153,229 l.t. 5 s. 7 d., according to a Nov. 17, 1781, statement signed by BF and five farmers general (XXXVI, 145n), a copy of which may have been enclosed (see Morris Papers, VIII, 345). The remainder of the 1,000,000 l.t. apparently was never repaid: Price, France and the Chesapeake, II, 715. The contract with the Farmers General was signed on March 24, 1777: XXIII, 514–17.

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